The world of journalism is changing – today’s consumers no longer have to wait until the next day’s headlines to get access to breaking news stories, and more and more of us are turning to social media, smartphone optimized apps and more to keep up-to-date.
With this in mind, the new generation of bloggers is constantly having to adapt to the ever changing trends of the market. If you’re launching your own news site, here are a few things to consider before you go live.
Consider your template layout
Before you start, you have to ask yourself what kind of news you will be reporting upon, as this will have a direct effect upon the overall template layout of your site. If your site is about sports news, you will have a whole host of plug ins to consider, from widgets showing the latest scores to betting odds. A general news website will have to have the right balance of text to images, while a celebrity gossip site is likely to be more image and video heavy, so ensure you use an appropriate template layout to reflect this.
Research your SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, denotes writing content that is more likely to make the top of the list in search engine results. This is particularly important when designing the outline of content for your site – many WordPress themes have built-in SEO checkers, but you’ll have to be creative when it comes to keywords. Always have these in mind when composing title and meta descriptions for pages. One important thing to remember however is that you shouldn’t overdo it – old techniques no longer work.
Go mobile friendly
One of the biggest growing markets is the smartphone and tablet market, and many news websites have acknowledged this. Gone are the days when internet users would fire up a laptop to get their news – if you want to keep people in the loop, you’ll have to make sure your site is optimized for smartphones. You can do this by creating your own app or going with a blog layout that lists smartphone optimization as one of its features – it will usually have differently designed mobile screens to cater for small viewing areas and user scrolling.
Ease off on the videos
With the smartphone market in mind, you may want consider your users when posting video content. Be sparing with these as they can drain mobile battery life and more importantly, mobile internet data, which can easily put off potential readers. It’s better to link users to another section of your site which contains the video content – that way, they can choose whether they want to load the video or wait until a more convenient time.
Use friendly fonts
Many bloggers have theorized that certain fonts are easier on the eye: in particular, it’s alleged that sans-serif fonts are easier to read on screen. Indeed, the Times New Roman look is quite out of fashion now, so you’ll want something that’s a little more up to date and can be sampled without straining the eyes. Remember again, that users may be reading from a smaller smartphone screen, so take this into consideration and avoid Wingdings like the plague – consider Arial or Helvetica instead.
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